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Monday, May 3, 2010

Who lives in a house like this?

I was doing some planting down at the bottom of the garden near the old stone sheds. Engrossed in a little world of my own, I became aware of a bee that was going in and out of the ivy that covers one of the sheds. My first thought was that perhaps there was a bees nest there. Do bees nest in ivy on walls? When it finally left I peeped into where it had been investigating, to find this tiny immaculate 'self-build' tucked firmly in between the branches of the ivy. Not cup-shaped but about six inches deep, it's made mostly of moss with an entrance about two and a half inches wide. I didn't want to hover round it for long, but parted the ivy slightly to get a photograph, making sure to leave it as it had been.... perfectly hidden in the greenery. I would never have noticed the tiny nest had it not been for the inquisitive bee.
I'm not entirely sure but I think it's probably a blue-tit's nest. I'm hoping one of the experienced birders can help me out here. Nearby is a Weeping Birch tree where the blue-tits like to pick off the caterpillars and eat the seeds. The wall where the nest is, is not visible from the house so I haven't noticed any comings and conclusion is guesswork. I'm not even sure if it's a new nest or one left over from a previous season but, thinking back, we did enjoy the company of baby blue-tits last Spring.
Whatever the situation, it was a joy to see this tiny skilled piece of engineering and it reminded me how wonderful the works of nature are. To put it in a nutshell, it made my day!

All nicely covered up again


  1. I think you may be right. We had a similar nest in our front door grapevine wreath last year. I never noticed it until I came home early from work one night (about 3am,) and, as to not wake Fred with the garage door, I came quietly in the front door. As I turned my key in the lock, a small bird flew out of the wreath directly into my face! Scared the life out of me, and I imagine it, too!

  2. Lol! Did you wake Fred up with your screams?! I hope both you and the little bird quickly recovered. :)

  3. A brilliant find Lesley, as you say, the wonders of nature are indeed .......well, wonderful. I'm not sure what may have made the nest, but as far as Blue Tits are concerned they tend to use holes or crevices in trees or buildings as well as nest boxes.

  4. Looking at it again John, it does seem too small to belong to a blue tit family. I wonder if it's a wren's nest, as we see them in the garden too?

  5. How wonderful it is to have a nest in the garden!
    Hope you get to enjoy some baby birds soon. If you can't see them at least you'll be able to hear them!

  6. Hiya Lesley!
    Loyd Grosseman here and I think that nest looks absolutely divine....could I add it to a curry perhaps...just for a little sting?!

  7. Hi Deedee. Yes it's lovely to have the baby birds around and watch their progress. :)

    Lloyd, you know what you can do with your curry! Ha-ha Gf, I used to love 'Through the Keyhole'. :)

  8. Looking at and reading the description of the nest I would be surprised if it was a Blue Tit, I'd tend to favour a Wren but the Wren makes more of a side entrance near the top of the nest. Please keep us informed on any further developments

  9. I will David. I've been carefully watching for any activity, but I haven't seen any birds coming and going from the nest at all. I have the perfect viewing point from within the greenhouse. :) I have read that a male wren builds a few nests for his mate and she then chooses the one she wants to lay her eggs in, so perhaps this is one of the ones that got overlooked.